USA Hosts Canada in Pan Am Games Qualifiers

Sept. 01, 2018, 5 p.m. (ET)

Sunday, September 2, 2018, the USA Men’s and Women’s National Teams host the Canada National Teams at Auburn University’s Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum in the opening of the much-anticipated home and away series to determine who goes on to the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, July 26-August 11, 2019.  The women’s game begins at 3:00 PM (Central Time), with the men’s game starting at 5:00 PM (Central Time).

For the USA, it’s been eight long years since either squad qualified to participate in the prestigious event.  Both teams played in Guadalajara, Mexico, in the 2011 games, and both performed poorly.  The feeling is things can be very different this time around for both USA Teams.

The Men’s National Team will be led by Head Coach Robert Hedin.  A two-time Olympian from Sweden, and winner of Silver Medals in 1992 and 1996, Hedin has demonstrated that he is a World-Class Head Coach.  Hedin was the Head Coach of the Norwegian National Team for six years, leading them to two appearances in the World Championships.  He also has successfully led several top professional clubs in Europe.

The Men’s National Team (MNT) is loaded with excellent young talent, including several players who play in Europe.  In fact, the team even has two veterans who played in Guadalajara.  The team has a nice blend of talent with a variety of amateur and professional experience. With all its talent however, the MNT has not had significant time together as a team and are still adapting to one another.  Hedin has skillfully assembled what he considers the right talent to peak at the right time. 

The Women’s National Team (WNT) will be led by Head Coach Christian Latulippe.  Latulippe led the WNT for five years, then served as the Assistant Coach of the Canadian Men’s National Team, including the 2011 Guadalajara Pan Am Games.  He returned to be the Head Coach of the USA MNT for the 2012 Pan Am Championships and was subsequently hired to be the Head Coach of the WNT.

The WNT is a blend of impressive veteran players, solid goalkeepers, and several outstanding younger players.  The WNT returns five 2011 Pan Am Games athletes, and a blend of experienced players with experience in Europe.  Latulippe’s squad has played around the world this past year, chalking up experience as a team against a variety of levels of national and professional teams.  Latulippe is hoping the team chemistry and game experience pays off.

Many of the players on both USA National Teams are products of the Auburn University/USA Team Handball National Team Residency Program.  Unfortunately, that program comes to an end in December, making Sunday’s games the last USA Team Handball home games at the historic Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.

To a person the players and staff of USA Team Handball express their gratitude to Auburn University and the School of Kinesiology Director, Dr. Mary Rudisill, Deputy Director Dave Pascoe, Ms. Kristin Roberts, esq., and USA Team Handball Olympian, Ms. Reita Clanton, for all their support and assistance in establishing and maintaining the Auburn University/USATH Residency Training Program.

The Canadian and USA Teams travel to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for the final games of the series scheduled for Wednesday, September 5, 2018.  The women will play at 7:00 PM (Eastern Time), and the men play at 9:00 PM (Eastern Time).  The games will be live streamed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/usateamhandball/videos/407989963064174/